Monday, January 27

India IV

It is over.

And like the perfect writer-in-residence, I finished my manuscript on the penultimate day of the season and sent it off to a prospective agent the next. In the run-off to the end, I remembered that feeling that there wasn't going to be an end, so vast and seemingly endless and vacant the upcoming three months had sounded. That was a good quarter of a year. A long time by any metric.

Then the first week was over, then the first month, then the second month. There were days that were good. There were days that were terrible and not a single word had been written. And then there was the last week when I must have written 10,000 words or so.

I had always been suspicious of prolific people (isn't creation ought to be a struggle?) but on the day that I wrote 3,000 words I was aghast that it could be done, and I only needed to, well, do it. How trite and how senseless but there's the rub.

Who was it who said that writers don't stop writing even if there isn't a pen nearby or a keyboard? I suppose I now have less issues about calling myself a writer, for my experience of life itself, every pulsating moment and dull, uneventful breath, every mindless thought, now always gestures inescapably, inevitably to writing. I am always befuddled whenever someone would profess something along the lines of a years-long writer's block, when they "just coudln't write." Always, I am tempted to ask, but how could you let that happen? Let life pass and not consider it unto a page?

Before I go into vacuously abstract Gemino Abad territory, I will stop. The finished manuscript is just shy of 82,000 words. 17 chapters. Set in Manila and Pagudpud and Lanao and Samar and Bangalore. Epigraphs (and rented gravitas) from Bliss Cua Lim and Jose Rizal. Humility has never been my strength (read: hindi bagay) but I harbor absolutely no delusions that it will be a valuable thing. Interesting perhaps, or fun. "Maganda 'yung language," as that callous pampalubag loob refrain usually goes. 

But set amidst what we know of literature, of life, it is a modest offering. For now that is enough, for it isn't over.

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